ASL Song night took place on Friday, May 17, 2019, from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. in the ART (Auburn Riverside theatre). All classes participated in jamming out with their hands and dancing to a variety of Broadway-themed songs. The very expression that most of the ASL students put into their signing was bubbly, exciting and incredibly inspiring for audience members. The show was energizing and fun for everyone, regardless of being able to understand their hand and body movements or not.
The specific theme of the Song Night, according to the class and Cindy Anderson, was Broadway. There were songs from Mamma Mia, Annie (the 2014 Soundtrack), a couple from Grease and even one from Disney’s Teen Beach Movie. Majority of the songs that played were older ones from 80s movies or from that classic time period where pop was strong and discos were everywhere. There were also a select few of songs that stood out for their great beat like “Glamourous” by Fergie, and “Cupid’s Shuffle.” “Africa” by Toto was the second to last song to play and the two students who performed it (Kayleigh Enlow and Phillip Sills) did beautifully, even interacting with the audience by continuing their performance off-stage and between rows. Kayleigh Enlow often called “Kay” according to friends, also did her own solo earlier in the show, signing the clean version of the song, “Lose Yourself” by Eminem. Enlow was asked a few questions about Song Night and her personal experience with it. When asked what her favorite thing about ASL Song Night she said:
“Just being able to get up on stage and express how passionate you are for ASL,” Enlow said, she also brought up what helps her get into her songs. “Just getting to pick the music that I can really feel, so I can display that emotion with signing.”
At the end of the show, all of the classes stood around the center audience’s rows, signing to the song, “History” by One Direction. It was a grand performance to an even grander show. There were only a small few of ASL students who did not participate, whether throughout the show or in select parts of the show. There was also a very moving point through it all where all of the seniors/third years produced a lovely poster and speech to Ms. Anderson, a speech where a couple of third-year ladies took turns saying a word that they felt described Anderson (some words that were as deep as “mom.”) It moved Anderson to tears and altogether the show ended with a large group hug among all ASL members. As many have heard, this is Anderson’s final year here at Auburn Riverside. According to Enlow, she and the other seniors were inspired to give Anderson the beautiful finale speech because of how much they love her and appreciate her. She stated that the ASL teacher has always been there for her students, and was always someone who they could come and talk to.
Overall, ASL Song Night was a fantastic night, definitely one for the books. Anderson is a teacher who has warmed the hearts of probably hundreds of students, teaching them how to use their hands and bodies, while showing them that they have a home and place to be here at Riverside.